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Ageing and driving: examining the effects of visual processing demands

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume17
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1-4
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Being able to respond quickly and carry out tasks concurrently are essential ingredients for safe driving. Both abilities decline with age and thus can compromise driving safety in elderly motorists. We examine this nexus by comparing the performance of a younger adult group (35-45 y) with an older one (+65 y) while completing three dual tasks in a driving simulator: one requiring a simple time reaction response with low visual complexity (Condition 1), another constituting a choice reaction task (Condition 2) and a third simple reaction time task, but with increased visual complexity (Condition 3). There was no significant difference between the two groups in Condition 1. The older group, however, was 27% slower in Condition 2, the choice reaction time task, and 46% slower in Condition 3. There were no differences in error rates for any condition. Future directions in research on ageing and driving abilities as well as the shortcomings of the study are discussed. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.